[Source: NPS Digest]
On Tuesday, September 21st, U.S. Mint, National Park Service and State of Arizona officials commemorated the launch of the Grand Canyon quarter, the fourth in the America the Beautiful quarter-dollar series, in a ceremony at the park.
It was a perfect fall day and the event was well attended by park staff, residents and visitors, as well as numerous classes from Grand Canyon schools. The event was held on the South Rim between the Hopi House and new Verkamp’s Visitor Center.
Highlights included Grand Canyon Mounted Patrol presenting the United States and Arizona flags; the seventh grade class leading the Pledge of Allegiance; remarks by Superintendent Steve Martin, U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy, Arizona State Parks Executive Director Renée Bahl, Arizona Office of Tourism Director Sherry Henry, and writer/author Scott Thybony; performances by the Pollen Trail Dancers; a ceremonial coin pour in to a Navajo basket; and the traditional distribution of free coins to youth and a coin exchange for adults.
“Throughout history, coins have depicted famous people, historical events and important places,” said Martin. “So, we were honored when Grand Canyon National Park was chosen for an America the Beautiful quarter.”
The design for the quarter features the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta near the Colorado River. Used almost 1000 years ago for the storage of food and seeds, the granaries are among the most iconic archeological sites in the park and serve as a connection between modern day visitors, native peoples who lived in and traveled through the park for thousands of years, and the living tribes that work with the park today to preserve their ancestral heritage.